Pharmacopsychiatry 2012; 45(06): 241-243
DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1301914
Original Paper
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Altered Neurotrophin, Neuropeptide, Cytokines and Nitric Oxide Levels in Autism

M.H.F. S. Tostes
1  NUPICS/NIQUA, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil
,
H. C. Teixeira
2  Department of Parasitology, Microbiology and Immunology, Biological Sciences Institute, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil
,
W. F. Gattaz
3  Laboratory of Neuroscience, Department and Institute of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, SP, Brazil
,
M.A. F. Brandão
1  NUPICS/NIQUA, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil
,
N.R. B. Raposo
1  NUPICS/NIQUA, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil
3  Laboratory of Neuroscience, Department and Institute of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, SP, Brazil
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 04 May 2011
revised 16 January 2012

accepted 16 January 2012

Publication Date:
16 March 2012 (eFirst)

Abstract

Introduction:

Modifications in neurotrophins, neuropeptides, cytokines and nitric oxide (NO) levels in autism may represent different biological aspects of the disease. In the present study we investigate simultaneously all these variables as an attempt to clarify their interrelationships in autism.

Methods:

Plasma levels of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), cytokines and nitric oxide (NO) were determined in children with DSM-IV autistic disorder (n=24) and in age- and gender-matched healthy controls (n=24). VIP, NT-3, IFN-γ and IL-1β levels were measured by ELISA, TNF-α, IL-10, IL-6, IL-4, IL-2 were evaluated by flow cytometry, and NO by Griess reaction.

Results:

Plasma levels of VIP, IFN-γ and NO were significantly higher and NT-3 plasma levels were significantly lower in children with autism, compared to the healthy subjects. In children with autism there was a positive correlation between plasma levels of NO and IFN-γ.

Discussion:

Our results indicate the presence of altered levels of neurotrophin and neuropeptide in infantile autism and provide additional evidence that higher levels of IFN-γ may be associated with increased oxidative stress in autism.